41 homes reported flooding

On January 10-12, 2020, the Lisgar area of our city received 64 mm of rainfall over a 30 hour period. The first reports of flooding in basements was received by the Ward 10 office around 5 pm on Saturday, January 11. Since then, 40 more homes have reported basement flooding as a result of this rainstorm.

Water in the Foundation Drain Collector system was as high as its ever been, almost to the point of surcharging out of the manholes. Additional pumps were brought on site at all three locations where the High Water Protocol is deployed in order to move water out of the FDC more quickly. Of concern has been the allegations of two residents who reported that the pumps were not running continuously despite the high water levels in the system. An investigation is underway with the company that is contracted to perform this work to find out what happened.

In the days following the storm, our office has been working with affected residents to offer support such as scheduling special waste collection days, providing resources on the sump pump subsidy and other flood-related material, and asking questions of staff to gain a better understanding as to what may have led to the flooding this time.

In addition, we hosted a gathering last week of residents who were flooded on January 11 to hear directly from them about their experience and receive their questions and comments first-hand. Forty-two people attended representing 26 households. There are several action items our team is working on as a result of that gathering.

Last weekend’s weather event

Thirteen pumps were deployed at the three predefined locations along the Sixteen Mile Creek last Friday, January 24, in preparation for another storm that was forecast to bring about 25 mm of rain and 1-3 cm of snow to our city. It was a relatively quiet night compared to two weeks earlier. Staff are reporting that just one pump was activated at the Osprey bridge location for about an hour to ensure water in the FDC system remained at acceptable levels.

Next steps

Looking ahead, Councillor McFadden is preparing several recommendations that address both short-term and long-term efforts to mitgate future flooding, including but not limited to:
– revising the protocol that triggers when contractors are deployed to monitor water levels and pump out water from the FDC system when required;
– advancing the funds and timing for construction of the 2nd and 3rd permanent pump stations that will automate the pumping of water out of the FDC that is currently done manually;
– reviewing the contracts with the third-party companies that have been associated with this file.

In addition, a townhall meeting is being organized to provide the community with an update on the work the City and its consultant have been engaged in since the last townhall in October 2017 and to present any new findings that may be uncovered as a result of this latest storm. Please pencil in your calendar Tuesday, April 14 for that gathering, though it is tentative and a venue still has to be confirmed. Further communication finalizing the date, time and location will be sent through this list and the Councillor’s web site, eNewsletter and social media.

On behalf of Councillor McFadden,
David Raakman
Executive Assistant